6 December 2021

Episode 010: Pulling the Goalie in High-Risk Decisions

How a Mathematic Model for Hockey Supports Dynamic Industries


Welcome to another episode of The Thinking Leader podcast, brought to you by Red Team Thinking. In this episode, Bryce Hoffman talks with Zia Zaman, CEO and innovator, about the use of mathematics to make better decisions in times of high risk in an increasingly uncertain world – where everyone's affected. 
Zia Zaman is the CEO of Soteria, previously served as the CIO for MetLife, the CEO of LumenLab, and led the marketing strategy for FAST which culminated in a $1.2 billion acquisition by Microsoft. Zia has spoken at WEF Davos, IIF, Global Summit for Women, Milken, InsurTech Connect, and UN Women. He currently sits on the Board of the Energy Market Authority of Singapore.

“I think that the amount of uncertainty that’s affecting our world is only increasing. And sometimes when people say that this really applies in dynamic industries, I ask myself, what's not a dynamic industry today? Everyone’s affected.”

– Zia Zaman

Top 10 Takeaways:


01:37 The amount of uncertainty leaders are facing today is only increasing

02:11 Every job function has become a more data-driven function

05:06 A metaphor from ice hockey – “Pulling the goalie”

07:13 The Poisson model vs. the Markov model

14:35 Patrick Roy vs. Viktor Tikhonov 

17:00 Malcolm Gladwell and the “Pull the goalie” concept 

22:00 The Asness-Brown Model 

24:53 Applying this approach to investment strategy 

25:39 “Pulling the goalie” in business 

32:52 “Pulling the goalie” in public health 



Mentioned in this Episode:


Brought to you by Red Team Thinking

“Coach Markov Pulls Goalie Poisson, by Zia Zaman 

Poisson Model 

Markov Model 

Asness-Brown Model, “Pulling the Goalie: Hockey and Investment Implications” 

Revisionist History, a Podcast by Malcolm Gladwell 

Patrick Roy 

Viktor Tikhonov 



Find Out More


Connect with Zia Zaman on Linkedin

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Connect with Bryce on Linkedin 

Follow Bryce on Twitter 


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